MANILA - The Ombudsman will now be able to proceed with the preliminary investigation into the plunder and graft raps against some senators and individuals, the next step towards the resolution of the pork barrel scam.
Field investigators of the Office of the Ombudsman have filed three separate complaints for plunder and graft raps against senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., and other individuals allegedly involved in the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF).
The complaints will then be assigned to a special panel of investigators also under the Ombudsman for preliminary investigation.
The complaints of the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office (FIO) will be consolidated with the complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation against the same individuals back in September.
The FIO was tasked in July when Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales motu propio decided to initiate a fact-finding investigation sans a formal complaint. Several teams were actually created to expedite the probe.
The teams then gathered numerous documents and interviewed at least 1,500 witnesses in more than 100 cities and municipalities in 39 provinces all over the country.
These included municipalities of Dula, Javier, Babatngon in Leyte, and that of Passi, Iloilo and Llorente, Eastern Samar.
FIO Assistant Ombudsman Joselito Fangon acknowledged the cooperation of the NBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Program officers, the Commission on Audit (COA) and other members of the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAAGCC), in the process of scanning through the entire pieces of evidence available nationwide.
The field investigators also filed administrative charges of Serious Dishonesty, Grave Misconduct, and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service against several individuals.
The administrative complaints against the senators, meanwhile, will be referred to the Senate Ethics Committee, which has administrative disciplinary jurisdiction over them.
The recommendation of the teams with regard to members of the House of Representatives is still being finalized.